I'm a professional Matchmaker based in Los Angeles, what I affectionately refer to as “the Baghdad of dating.”
The dating scene is rough in LA (and in every other city, and in every other town,... and for our entire generation), and I have match-made and coached hundreds of women: from A-list celebrities, to successful girl bosses, to cover models, who all don't understand why they can't get into an exclusive relationship with a nice guy.
Let's take our current dating climate.
If you have yet to hire a professional Matchmaker like myself, which I highly encourage if you are in the financial place to do it, you are probably meeting men on dating apps or online (or in real life if you read this genius article by yours truly).
The apps have totally changed the dating game.
If a guy is relying heavily on the apps as his primary source for meeting women, he is coming into the dating scene with a completely different mentality than men of the past who dated solely based on who they met in their everyday lives.
Men whose primary way of meeting women in real life have less options, so when they do meet an incredible women like yourself, they get that it is difficult to find such a catch.
Men who primarily meet women through apps experience the same feelings of frustration and have the understanding that meeting an incredible woman is challenging, but they have a Vegas gambling mentality when it comes to dating.
The dating apps condition guys to feel like dating is like playing the slot machines at the Venetian. They can conceptualize that they just won the jackpot by meeting a smart, fun and pretty woman who they connect with, but the slot machine (aka the dating app) encourages them to “keep playing.”
They suffer from what one of my business partners and matchmaking mogul, Patti Stanger, "The Million Dollar Matchmaker," pinpoints… they want the “Bigger Better Deal.” “Yes, wow, this woman is great,” they think, “But what if the next woman is even better?”
Studies have shown that a man using dating apps as his primary source of meeting women is probably dating about six women at the same time, on average.
I know that it's super depressing to think about, but when going into war, you need to understand the terrain that you are entering. And according to "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days," isn't all supposed to be fair in love and war?
Since it is feasible to quantify that a man who you begin to date is also dating a few other women, you need to enter this potential relationship with an open heart but with strong boundaries. Be your open, charming self, have fun on your dates, yet keep your wits about you and your options open… just like he is.
When it comes to sex, here's where things get interesting.
Let me explain to you the mentality of many men using the dating apps on the reg. This is going to be hard to swallow, so take a deep breath and a sip of that Pinot.
Men quantify women into two different categories:
Category 1: Women who he would sleep with.
This category is massive. Do a little survey of your guy friends and ask them if they would sleep with you. Ask them if they would sleep with your friend Jessica. Ask them if they would sleep with the woman crossing the street. Ask them if they would sleep with their female econ professor from college. Ask them if they would sleep with the barista at Starbucks.
I am going to blow your mind right now and magically read all of your guy friends' minds: the answer is YES. Am I am #manwhisperer or what?
A majority of straight, single men would sleep with a majority of women. A part of me wants to say sorry to all of the men who may think that I am portraying their entire species as horn dogs, but another, much bigger part of me thinks #sorrynotsorry. It's about time that their cover is blown.
This is the single most misinterpreted fact about men that women cannot seem to wrap their heads around, because sex for women is totally opposite.
Most women would never even dream of sleeping with a majority of the different men in their lives and are way more discerning when it comes down to who they will actually sleep with.
Category 2: Women he wants to date.
This category is exponentially smaller than the first category. Where a man might be open to having sex with 200 women, he may be open to actually dating three.
These are the women who he actually enjoys spending time with, who he finds both physically attractive and mentally stimulating. These are the women who he wants to bring to his office Christmas party, who he can see bringing home to meet his parents, who he wants to explore the world with and make reservations at the cool new restaurant down the street with.
These are the girls that he wants to bring to dinner, not just out for drinks.
This is where app dating gets really tricky. How can you tell if a guy just wants to sleep with you or if he actually wants to date you? How can you tell if he puts you in Category 1 or Category 2?
If you are a woman who is actually looking for a relationship, these three words will help you discern: close thy legs.
If you are single and want to be in a committed relationship, make it a new rule that you will stop engaging in casual sex with guys who you are dating casually. If you are not looking for a relationship and are just looking to have a good time, stop reading this article, and bookmark it for a few months down the line when you are over this Samantha Jones-inspired phase (no shame, girl).
But, if you are done with getting your heart broken by fuckboys, being ghosted by guys who seemed like “nice guys” and scrutinizing every post-coital text (or lack thereof), screw the “three date rule”and follow your new golden rule: Don't sleep with him until you are in an exclusive relationship.
At Matchmakers In The City, no sex until exclusivity is literally in our official Dating Guidelines, and every day I open up an email with a new success story of a couple who followed it and is now enjoying a fabulous, committed relationship.
I know that this is probably far from the answer that you want to hear, and I know that we all know that couple who hooked up on the first date and is now raising their fifth kid. But, to quote another great blockbuster, "He's Just Not That Into You," this is the exception, not the rule.
It also makes this rule inconvenient because sex is incredible. Sex is amazing. Sex is intimate. Sex is passionate. There are fewer more magical experiences than connecting with another person in such a deep level, and you cannot help yourself but feel incredibly connected to a man after you have sex with him.
But, whether we want to admit it or not, sex is just different for women.
When women have sex, we release the hormone oxytocin which is the “cuddle” hormone that literally makes us experience feelings of love, happiness and connection.
When men have sex, they release dopamine, which is simply a surge of pleasure. It was really good for them, but they are not bonded to you based on the fact alone that you had sex. They can get that same surge from any other sexual encounter. They also release a surge of prolactin and glycogen, which makes them fall asleep.
With this knowledge, let's come back to the app dating scenario.
If a guy meets a nice woman who he just doesn't see long term potential with, he puts her into Category 1, and he will still try to pursue her, but in a much different way than he would pursue a woman in Category 2.
If a guy is persistently trying to get sexual with you on the first or second date, you can bet your gorgeous self that he has placed you in Category 1.
Of course, a guy who sees future girlfriend potential with you will definitely be attracted to you and may try to get physical pre-maturely, but the second you tell him that you are an old school girl and like to take things slow, he will back off and completely respect your wishes.
A guy who has placed you in Category 1 wont take this pushback well. He will be persistent; he may try to lure you to his place with promises of “just cuddling,”which I understand is super tempting because cuddling is the best, try to convince you with flattery and charm, or just flip the switch, get annoyed and drive you home.
A guy like this rarely lasts to the third or fourth date, and typically ghosts you in search of a girl who he can deflower on date one or two, only to repeat the process again (and again… and again) with a new unsuspecting girl from Bumble. Boy, bye.
I know that sometimes you are in the moment, he's really hot, and you're feeling it. But, stand your ground. When you are with a man with potential who YOU have put into your own Category 2 (aka he's potential boyfriend material) and things are heating up, you can tell him, “You're really attractive, but I'm an old school girl and don't do the whole casual sex thing.”
If you're in his Category 2, men have literally told me this during my interviews with them… he will actually be glad to hear that; he knew that you were girlfriend material all along, and this just confirms it.